What was their childhood like? › Nannie had a rough childhood growing up with an abusive father. Were there any precursors? Did childhood behavior reflect problems? › When Nannie was younger, she fell off a train, and suffered severe head trauma, causing Nannie to suffer from depression.
What was their adult life like? › Nannie’s adulthood was full of work at a linen factory. Did they finish high school or college? › Nannie dropped out of school in the 6th grade. She was never allowed to have any social relationships with boys or to dress pretty or do her makeup. Instead, she fantasized of another life while reading romance magazines. Did they marry? Have children? › Yes, she married 5 times, and had 4 kids with her first husband; the man who got away.
What motives did the killer have for the killings? › None of the men Nanny married lived up to the expectations she had; therefore, she killed all her husbands, and kept remarrying. Unfortunately, none of them compared to the ones she read about in her love stories. And she told them about Richard Morton, Arlie Lanning, Frank Harrelson, too. All men whom she had at first admired, but they turned out to be duds. All she had ever wanted was romance, a man to love her, but instead she got what she described as "dullards". Each and every one of them. "If their ghosts are in this room theyre either drunk or sleeping.”-a quote from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders /women/doss/16.html
What methods and rituals did they perform in the killings? › Nannie had a sorta, “quick, whatever I can do at the moment” kinda method to her killings. › She killed some of her victims with arsenic (rat poisoning, food poisoning etc.), and with the weak victims like her grandson, she strangled.
o What was the profile and characteristics of their victims? • Husbands, Family, anyone she loved or had loved. Two Children Sister Dovie 4 Husbands Grandson Robert Her Mother Mother-In-LawNannie may have even potentially killed her 2nd grandchild, with accusations of her sticking a headpin in the infants head.
What factors led to them getting caught? › Nannie was caught when her last husband Samuel Doss had died. After performing an autopsy, the hospital concluded that arsenic was in Samuel’s system. After putting two and two together, all deaths were revolving around Nannie, and all fingers were pointing at her. Detectives wentback and discoveredArsenic in all of theVictims bodies, andAsphyxia in some.
What were they charged with and sentenced to? › Nannie was sentenced to life for the murder of her husband Samuel Doss. After being caught, Nannie could not stop laughing at herself for the crimes she had committed, hence the name, “The Giggling Granny”.
Why are serial killers so difficult to spot? › Serial killers are so difficult to spot because they blend in, and play roles of authority. Nannie was just a normal grandma, with a cute little giggle. Nobody could ever believe she was capable of murder. "Looking at her and talking to her, detectives just could not believe that Nannie could be a killer," Terry Manners relates in Deadlier Than the Male
It’s said the Romance magazines and Prunes are what kept Nannie going on her killing sprees.
List the characteristics that make up the four types of serial killer crime scenes. › Organized Crime Scenes- Completely planned to avoid getting caught. Body Hidden, Transports Body, Hidden Weapon › Mixed Crime Scene- Mixture of Disorganized, and Organized Crime Scenes Staged, Two Offenders, Planned or Interrupted › Atypical Crime Scene- Can’t be classified, may have to look at previous crime scenes to piece evidence together. › Disorganized Crime Scenes- Spontaneous crime occurred, frenzied assault, Body at the Scene, Evidence and Weapon Left
What are the most surprising pieces of information you learned from doing this webquest? › While doing this webquest, I prepared to hear some gruesome information, but I guess I didn’t quite prepare myself for the numbers. I just don’t understand how someone could kill so many innocent people. Like Nannie, not only did she kill her own family, or husbands, but even her own kids! Now with her husbands, that’s another story, but I guess Nannie really took the “til death do we part” vowel a little too seriously.